DENVER – On Thursday, the Colorado General Assembly passed a bill that would legalize “tasting rooms” for consumers and users of cannabis. The bill now awaits a final signature by Gov. John Hickenlooperer before it is made law.
Yaël Ossowski, deputy director of the Consumer Choice Center, calls the motion a “historic” step in providing establishments for safe and legal cannabis use, much like taprooms for beer and wine lounges for wine.
“Colorado has already proven itself to be one of the most innovative states when it comes to realizing the economic and social benefits of legalizing cannabis. Now, by allowing adults to test and consume cannabis in licensed dispensaries, consumers will have a safe and friendly environment where they won’t bother others outside,” said Ossowski. “That is useful for local residents, but also for tourists, who otherwise may not have places to legally consume cannabis. Similar efforts are underway in places like West Hollywood, California and throughout Washington State. Other jurisdictions should also follow this model.”
Though the bill is a big step, it only allows for on-site consumption of what dispensaries offer, and only by vaping or eating cannabis products, not smoking it.
“Legalization was only part of the equation. What states need to do now is provide for ‘smart legalization’, allowing entrepreneurs to offer their products in a safe manner that respects age limits, private property rights, and provides a great boost to local and state economies.
“The benefits to legalizing cannabis and usurping the black market has had untold effects, not least when it comes to removing the criminal element and allowing police to prioritize violent crimes rather than non-violent users of cannabis. Colorado should be applauded for its historic steps,” said Ossowski.